Episode 34: Life’s a Bleach

In the thirty-fourth episode of The Latest, we follow Mr. Trump’s advice to consume disinfectants and pound bleach shots until bars are allowed to re-open. History teacher Chase Moore joins the program for this week’s O.J. Simpson Twitter Update.

The Latest with Greg Ott
The Latest with Greg Ott
Episode 34: Life's a Bleach


Those voices are discussing the consumption of disinfectants, placing Tide Pods alongside orange juice and Cheerios as part of a balanced breakfast.

As doctors and scientists continue to seek cures and treatments for COVID-19, the president is willing to experiment using everything but the kitchen sink — or, at least, everything underneath it.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump boldly suggested that injecting disinfectants like bleach or rubbing alcohol into your body could help fight off the coronavirus

While that may seem like an extreme measure, cutting off your nose to spite your face could be a good thing, because you wouldn’t be able to smell the chemicals pouring down the back of your throat.

Consuming small traces of bleach causes nausea, headaches, and diarrhea, which sounds like dinner at Subway, while strong concentrations can burn your skin and damage your internal organs and tissues, which sounds like dinner at Blimpie.

And the worst-case scenario, in which you die, might actually be the best-case: the cure can’t be that much worse than the disease if you’re no longer around to contract it.

For those who have grown restless amidst indefinite stay-at-home orders, pounding a few shots of Clorox has indeed presented a novel solution to the novel virus, allowing one to ride out the remainder of the quarantine in a comfortable coma.

As such, the fine manufacturers of Lysol have had to issue statements urging the public not to administer cleaning products into the human body — after all, if you’re not going to take a shower while you’re working from home, there’s no need to waste your Scrubbing Bubbles.

Unfortunately, these warnings have fallen on deaf ears: within a day of the President’s remarks, New York City’s position control alone recorded at least 30 instances of exposure to cleaning products: 9 linked to Lysol, 10 linked to bleach, and dozens of others attributed to freebasing Glade, French kissing Mr. Clean, and downing improvised Irish Car Bombs made from dropping a 2,000 Flushes tablet into a pint of Windex.

Quacks parroting dubious medical solutions is nothing new — hydroxychloroquine is just a throwback to last season’s chloroform. 

During the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, beaver oil, kerosene, and onions were among the many cures pushed by advertisers and beaver-oil salesmen. Even whiskey and opiates were considered viable solutions; and if that were true today, most Americans wouldn’t even need to change their daily habits to stay safe.

And it’s not like the United States is alone when it comes to broadcasting bad advice: one self-described social media prophet from Iran is prescribing fresh and warm camel urine as an effective COVID-19 treatment. This means once the second wave hits this winter, we can look to the White House for specific guidance on which yellow snow holds the most restorative potential.

I shouldn’t have to use camel piss to draw a comparison to the president, unless it’s a matter of resemblance, but this notion of shoving a blacklight down your throat to ward off the virus isn’t only dangerous, and stupid, and wrong, and even out of place at a rave.

It’s a great example of where we’re at in 2020. This pandemic has given us a lot of time to pause and consider what’s important: things like family, and friendships, and health, and securing browser extensions to snipe grocery delivery slots so you don’t run out of La Croix.

And increasingly, expertise: one recent Pew survey found that Americans have a newfound confidence in public institutions.

For years, Americans have sought the advice of outsiders and anti-establishment figures. But this pandemic has clearly demonstrated that the public depends upon and trusts doctors, scientists, and, yes, experienced politicians.

Mr. Trump’s certainly pulled off some great rallying cries for his supporters, but it seems like he’s finally created a potent response to “drain the swamp” and “lock her up”: “don’t drink bleach.”